Category Archives: Wireless Networks

How to Het Net!?

There has been much written about why Het Nets are needed (running out of capacity) and when it will happen (licensed band small cell centric view of Het Nets). On the other hand, how Het Nets will happen is rarely discussed in the general media. Perhaps this is because this is a very technical discussion that does not… Read More »

Millimeter Wave MIMO Systems for 5G Access Networks

Guest post by Faris Alfarhan* Conventionally, millimeter wave (mmW) frequency bands have been either largely overlooked or treated solely as real estate for wireless backhaul and personal indoor networks. That is mainly due to higher atmospheric attenuation loss, penetration losses, and increased absorption and scattering in rainy conditions. However, recent measurements indicate good outdoor short range coverage –… Read More »

It’s All Too Good To Keep Talking About The Capacity Problem

The capacity problem is at the heart of everything said about the wireless industry. Everybody loves to talk about this problem. To start, it is easy to give examples of exploding data consumption forecasts or quote numbers on mobile applications such as Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and many others. I suspect that the capacity problem makes for a… Read More »

Raising the Stakes in 3.5 GHz: LTE-Advanced Achieves 1 Gbps

The 3 GHz frequency bands stands at the upper limit of what is considered today as viable spectrum for mobile communications. But bands 42 (3400 – 3600 MHz) and 43 (3600 – 3800 MHz) are not only the ‘last frontier’, but more importantly, they provide the widest spectrum of any other band (200 MHz). Additionally, the relatively short… Read More »

Small Cells Progress Report – Challenges and Opportunities.

I have just released a new research report on the progress of small cell deployments in collaboration with ExelixistNet:  “Small Cell Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities.” The report examines mobile operators’ plans and deployment strategies of small cells and backhaul solutions along with vendor and technology preferences. The research is based on experience gathered by operators from market trials… Read More »

SON Progress Report: A Lot Still to Be Done!

Since the first building blocks of SON were laid down around 2008 by 3GPP and NGMN, uptake in SON deployments has been very selective by a few leading carriers for some use cases. However, universal applicability remains elusive. To say the least, the SON market is struggling – but why, and how that can be turned around is… Read More »

Trends in Wireless Network Densification

One of the main trends in radio access network (RAN) is the bifurcation of systems that enable network densification. Today, mobile network operators have more options than ever before for the means of providing service to their subscribers. Alongside the evolution of wireless standards to provide higher spectral efficiency, vendors have unleashed a wide variety of radio access… Read More »

From LTE-U to LTE-DSA: Solving The Capacity Crunch

The proposal by Qualcomm to enable LTE operation in unlicensed band (LTE-U) received a warm response from some (e.g. Ericsson, Verizon) and not so warm from others especially incumbents with strong legacy in Wi-Fi in both the vendor and operator communities. The contentious issue center on co-existence of LTE and Wi-Fi in the same band as Wi-Fi implements… Read More »

Is the Personal Cell Technology for Real?

The media is abuzz with the news of the pCell wireless technology – after all, it’s not too often that someone comes out and claims to have a technology that will change the world! For now, too little has been revealed on this technology, which is understandable for a startup.  The aura of mystery is necessary to fuel… Read More »

The Long-Term View on Small Cells

The evolution of wireless networks to a HetNet architecture is inevitable, but the question for industry players and investors is what form will it take. This is because there is no single approach to small cells, but rather there are multiple ways to densify the network. Making misplaced bets is common in the technology space, mainly because of… Read More »

What Will 5G Be Like?

We are still at the beginning of the 4G road – in fact some may argue that we did not even reach 4G… officially. Nevertheless, industry chatter on 5G is here. We at Xona Partners have put our thoughts together on what 5G can look like. We recently published a whitepaper on this topic leveraging our multidisciplinary background… Read More »

Carrier Aggregation and the Road to Cognitive Radio and Superwide Spectrum

Often, the least hyped technologies are the most effective, get the widest adoption, and have the greatest impact. Carrier aggregation is one such technology that I don’t think it received its fair share of attention. LTE did bring a number of new features that were not available in 3G, such as MIMO. But MIMO was already deployed in… Read More »

The Coming of Cloud RAN

The evolution of wireless communications has spawned many innovations but the cellular concept where base stations are dispersed to meet coverage and capacity requirements remains constant. This is about to change, sort of, if Cloud Radio Access Network (CRAN) architecture lives up to its vision. What makes CRAN such an interesting development is that it leverages advances in… Read More »

Site Seeing in Hong Kong!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this is the longest post I’ve ever written… Let’s check out how Hong Kong operators address outdoor coverage and capacity with a few snapshots of base stations in Mong Kok and Wan Chai. What comes through is a clear approach favoring high power systems to blast energy in an area… Read More »

Between DAS and Small Cells – A Practical Guide

When small cells started appearing on the market, DAS was one of their targets. The thought was small cells would make DAS obsolete. After all, small cells are inexpensive and easy to deploy. This did not happen and not likely to happen for many reasons. DAS will be around as will small cells. While both serve similar functions,… Read More »